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Suspended West Vancouver school counsellor charged with possession of child porn

Arrest not connected to West Vancouver students, school district says
West Van Secondary School NO NAME
A suspended West Vancouver Secondary counsellor is now charged with possession of child pornography.

A suspended counsellor at West Vancouver Secondary has been charged with possession of child pornography.

The RCMP opened an investigation into Joseph Scott William McLeod last fall after receiving information from its integrated child exploitation unit, said Sgt. Peter DeVries, North Vancouver RCMP spokesman. He was arrested on Jan. 7 after officers executed a search warrant.

In July, the Crown swore one charge of possession of child pornography against McLeod, 40. He was listed for a court appearance on Aug. 18.

The 2019-'20 West Vancouver student guidebook lists “Joey McLeod” as a Grade 8 counsellor.

In an email, West Vancouver school district superintendent Chris Kennedy said McLeod is no longer in the schools.

“Our first priority is always the safety and well-being of our students and we are very concerned by this charge,” he said. “The district was informed of Mr. McLeod’s arrest on Jan. 7, 2021, and he has not returned to work since then. He was suspended, without pay, on Jan. 11. The RCMP have indicated the charge filed in July is not connected to our students or schools but any further questions about this should be directed to the RCMP.”

McLeod had worked at West Vancouver Secondary since the fall of 2017, Kennedy added, and the district has informed the Teacher Regulation Branch. McLeod is currently not eligible to teach in B.C.

McLeod is under bail conditions to stay away from pools, playgrounds and community centres where people under the age of 18 are known to gather unless his bail supervisor gives him permission. He is also banned from being in contact or alone with anyone under the age of 14 unless another adult is present. His bail conditions also prohibit him from volunteering or working with anyone under 18 and he is prohibited from accessing pornography.

McLeod, who has not yet entered a plea, is due back in court in September.

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